I like the Dutch. I really do. They are a European club that plays more like a South American club. It’s an incredibly exciting style of play behind three of the best attackers in the world. But Costa Rica was the sweetheart of the 2014 World Cup, the team it was impossible to root against. They were hanging with the best clubs in the world with a national population just over half the size of New York City. So when they stepped up into a shootout against a powerhouse Dutch squad, the anticipation was electric.
And it was there that Tim Krul established himself as the villain, proudly taunting each individual Costa Rican player as if he were the second coming of Edwin van der Sar. Well, Krul, you’re not.
Normally I don’t mind if someone trash talks, so long as they get the job done, which Krul did. But here’s why this left a sour taste in my mouth.
First of all, you’re the second-choice keeper. Jasper Cillessen beat you out for the starting spot, and you celebrate this point by running your mouth in your first action of the World Cup. If you want to psyche yourself up, that’s fine, walk to the goal, turn your back and pump yourself up. There’s no reason to spout in the face of the Costa Ricans.
Secondly, this is a game that you were supposed to win. The Costa Ricans are one of the best underdog success stories the World Cup has ever seen. Each team they faced was supposed to beat them, and being a European powerhouse, so were you. This team fought you tooth and nail through 120 brutal minutes, exceeding all expectations, and you show respect like this? If trash talking a team you were supposed to beat is your gig, then so be it.
This isn’t a “show of confidence” like some people are calling it. It’s a show of arrogance. A second-rate keeper wanting to prove why he’s the boss by trying to verbally rattle the underdog is nothing to be praised.